Xylography and Commentary in the Art of Alejandro Sainz

Posted on June 10, 2017 by Alison Pierz

Alejandro Sainz Woodcuts Contemporary Art Cuban ArtistAlejandro Sainz's artwork ready to leave the studio and then being installed 

Frames and Stretchers and Art Delivery Van have once again teamed up on the framing and installation of a terrific work of art. The massive woodcut print by Cuban artist Alejandro Sainz required numerous handmade Japanese paper hinges which were applied with the rice paper paste that we prepare in house. After attaching the art to its museum board backing it was fitted with a black maple frame and UV plexi glazing. Once finished, the piece was off to the collector’s home where it was expertly installed by the Art Delivery Van team.

Japanese paper hinges rice paste framing woodcut
The delicate process of hinging such a large work

 Alejandro Sainz is a native of Havana who graduated from the Fine Arts Academy of San Alejandro and the School of Design of Cuba, with a major in International Graphic Design. He is a painter, printmaker, engraver and sculptor. Growing up in Cuba his art and stylistic influences included 1950s movie stars, Albrecht Durer prints, propaganda posters of Cuban leaders, and interestingly, Andy Warhol. Sainz uses the craft of “xylography” (carving into wood for the purposes of printmaking) to create some of his images. As a print maker he uses the human figure along with texts to describe social and political commentary often informed by his Cuban background. This prize-winning craftsman is an artist in residence at the Experimental Workshop of Graphic Arts of La Havana and has a continuing relationship with The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa where he has worked and lectured in the Type Lab. Some of his better-known works include a series of colorful underwater silkscreen prints that resemble cartoon panels. The piece we framed is a newer black and white composition produced as a woodcut, but it demonstrates his continued use of figuration and text to create works of socio-political critique; in this case, the tension between the use of force and the strength of intelligence. 

Woodcut Japanese paper hinges framing
The woodcut at Frames and Stretchers studio prior to framing

We are pleased to add Alejandro Sainz to the ever-growing list of amazing artists whose works we’ve had the opportunity to frame and present. We hope you’ll visit us if you’re on the Lower East Side and see us in action for yourself!

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